Geelong have showcased their blue-collar credentials, weathering a mid-game surge from unfancied Gold Coast before running away to claim a 34-point AFL win at GMHBA Stadium.
The Suns had been humiliated when conceding 14 successive goals in last weekend's drubbing by Brisbane, with coach Stuart Dew demanding a response.
His players delivered and when they cut the margin to five points early in the third term on Saturday, the prospect of them claiming a first-ever win at the Cats' home ground looked very real.
But with key attackers Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins and Gary Rohan combining for seven goals, the Cats regained the ascendancy to win 14.7 (91) to 8.9 (57), improving their win-loss record to 7-3.
"It was an important game for (Gold Coast) to compete really hard and I thought they did that," said Geelong coach Chris Scott.
"That's what we expected and it took a long time for us to get on top.
"It probably wasn't the cleanest game.
"Sometimes you've got to get your hands dirty and accept the way the game is going to be played.
"The key part for us was to hold our nerve when the game was tight."
On the down side, Geelong will be without Mitch Duncan for next Saturday's MCG clash with Collingwood.
The prime mover was subbed out under the concussion rule at halftime after smashing his head into the turf in a strong tackle from Nick Holman.
There were concerns that fellow midfield ace Cameron Guthrie would also spend time on the sidelines after he came off early in the third quarter clutching his left shoulder, but the 2020 All-Australian was able to return to the fray after receiving medical attention.
The Suns were left to rue inacurracy in front of goal, with spearhead Ben King's miss from directly in front late in the second quarter proving a real momentum killer.
King still ended the match with three goals, but the Cats got a much better collective return from their big-name forwards, with Cameron booting three goals and Hawkins and Rohan chiming in with two apiece.
Fringe midfielder Quinton Narkle played arguably his best-ever game for Geelong, who were also well served by defender Tom Stewart and skipper Joel Selwood.
The Suns' better players included backman Will Powell and onballer Touk Miller.
"Our main thing was to bring our effort," said Dew.
We'll keep working at our execution, keep hammering away at it.
"Under serious pressure Geelong are a serious footy club obviously - they were in the grand final last year.
"If we bring that effort and intensity against most teams we're in with a big show.
"The pleasing thing was our guys didn't drop away, because last week that's what happened."
The next challenge for Gold Coast is to bring the same intensity in next Saturday's clash in Darwin against fellow strugglers Hawthorn.